I consider innate Atheism as much more than just the superficial descripiton of the absence of the belief in a deity.   It is the unavoidable result of applying skeptical thinking on the claim of the existence of a deity.    I just found the following description of Carroll's Skeptically-Prone Personality.  

http://www.skepdic.com/skeptimedia/skeptimedia129.html

I think that any person with this personality is determined to become an atheist like a caterpillar is determined to become a butterfly.  

  1. They are nearly impossible to hypnotize;
  2. As children they questioned the existence of Santa Claus and God;
  3. As adults they continued to doubt the existence of Santa Claus and all forms of supernatural creatures;
  4. As children they played make-believe games, but they recognized the difference between make-believe and reality;
  5. As adults they do not spend more than 50% of their time fantasizing;
  6. They rarely experience hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations (waking dreams), including those involving monsters from outer space or figures from religious traditions);
  7. They rarely pretend to be somebody they're not;
  8. They are mistrustful of memory and consider vividness to be irrelevant to the accuracy of a memory
  9. They are mistrustful of interpretations of sense experiences;
  10. They have little faith in eyewitness testimony;
  11. They can rarely have an orgasm just by using their imagination;
  12. They are mistrustful of tradition and tend to think that the older some idea or practice is the less likely it is to be true or worth engaging in;
  13. They think there is a naturalistic explanation for everything, even if we don't know what it is;
  14. They think people who think they've had a paranormal experience are deluding themselves;
  15. They rarely have out-of-body experiences;
  16. They believe that once you're dead you're dead and can't talk anymore;
  17. They don't engage in automatic writing, Ouija board games, or séances;
  18. They don't believe in magical healing powers, but follow the advice of those promoting science-based medicine;
  19. They trust the results of well-designed controlled studies over beliefs based solely on personal experience;
  20. They haven't experienced spirits or ghosts (see 13);
  21. They tend to dislike intensely those who lie, defraud others, or promote self-serving nonsense as if it were infallible truth;
  22. They don't feel handicapped by their skepticism; on the contrary, they feel empowered by their devotion to reason, logic, critical thinking, empirical evidence, and science;
  23. They don't like lists, unless backed by scientific studies and footnotes, and they're fond of concepts like the fantasy-prone personality and cognitive dissonance.

A skeptically-prone personality (SPP) has at least 17 of the above characteristics.

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I didn't count whether I had 17 of those characteristics or not, but an observation about myself: I DO have hypnogogic dreams, just before waking up. They NEVER involve gods or space creatures, but are certainly weird and horrible or wonderful at times. But I know darn well they are dreams, and never confuse them with reality, except for a split-second upon waking up. So I don't think the criterion as stated is quite right. So I think what's important in this category is not confusing hypnogogic dreams that are obviously dreams with hallucinations that are regarded as reality.

And I once had a Ouija board, and played with it with friends with the full realization that SOMEONE was manipulating it, even if unconsciously. We had lots of fun with it, but that didn't mean we BELIEVED in it.

This is a new (march 2011) and according to google little discussed concept.  I think that the list of caracteristics is not carved in stone and the author Caroll probably would like to have feedback like yours.  

This strikes me as far less of a list of personality traits and more as consequences of being a well-developed skeptic (someone who has a high degree of alignment between physical data and their mental structuring). Only a few of these addressed childhood behaviors, and several directly refer to adult behaviors, so it really seems to just address "Things you've noticed if you matured as a skeptic (during your teenage years)". 11 and 12 especially suggest late-teenage psychology, possibly marking the author's age.

01. They are nearly impossible to hypnotize;
Wouldn't know. Never been hypnotized.

0


02. As children they questioned the existence of Santa Claus and God;
I believed in Santa 'til I was 6, God 'til I was 20.

-1


03. As adults they continued to doubt the existence of Santa Claus and all forms of supernatural creatures;
Um... I mean, that describes every skeptical atheist adult out there... so... yeah.

+1


04. As children they played make-believe games, but they recognized the difference between make-believe and reality;
I suffer from an over-active mind and imagination (which is made entirely worse by my utter inability to write creatively... I simply cannot do it... and people always tell me to try; not to find a writing partner... they just don't get it... I know the things I'm bad at... creative writing is NOT one of them). This means I actually had invisible friends for about 3 years longer than most children.

When I was 10, I honestly believed the Irish angel from "Touched by an Angel" was real because of the episode in which she revealed herself to be an angel to that church on Christmas (even at 10, I couldn't imagine the idea of special effects).

-1


05. As adults they do not spend more than 50% of their time fantasizing;
That's pretty much all I do... when I'm not doing homework or working. Remember what I said above: overactive imagination

-1


06. They rarely experience hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations (waking dreams), including those involving monsters from outer space or figures from religious traditions);
Waking dreams? Don't think so. The dreams I experience that I remember are actually nightmares. Not monsters or anything like that. I just can't. Move. Or. Wake. Up. I can tell that I'm in my room... even see it... but my body is frozen and won't budge in any way, and when I do finally come out of it, I wake up breathing very heavily with a very slight ache in my muscles.

I actually recorded myself (audio) the other night, and this happened. I was able to listen to myself. There were no outbursts, but from what I could hear, I was moaning and groaning, and talking in my sleep (too soft to understand, though), but there was no audio evidence of movement... as if I actually was unable to move.

0


07. They rarely pretend to be somebody they're not;
I mean... I think everyone alive tries to exagerrate who they are a little bit. I know I do, especially when attemtping (and usually failing) to impress someone I find attractive.

0


08. They are mistrustful of memory and consider vividness to be irrelevant to the accuracy of a memory;
I'm not mistrustful of memory. I think memory is one of the best tools we have to make sense of reality. I'm simply aware of how imperfect memory is, especially insofar as our mind's ability to invent memories out of thin air (I am nyctophobic [afraid of the dark] because of a memory of an event that never actually happened).

0


09. They are mistrustful of interpretations of sense experiences;
How far is this supposed to be taken, exactly? I know what soft feels like, I know what fat looks like (I am, unfortunately... and yes, I'm on a diet and working out... it's slow, but working), I know what Led Zeppelin sounds like (I'm obsessed with them), I know what sushi tastes like (because it's my favorite food), I know what the fruity pebbles strain of marijuana smells like, and so on.

I need more explanation of this.

0


10. They have little faith in eyewitness testimony;
Anyone who has a brain should be. I know people who believe in a higher power who are generally mistrustful of eyewitness testimony (granted, they are not religious... they reject Dogma and miracles... they just believe in "something").

+1


11. They can rarely have an orgasm just by using their imagination;
Again: I have a very active imagination.

-1


12. They are mistrustful of tradition and tend to think that the older some idea or practice is the less likely it is to be true or worth engaging in;
Okay... yeah...

+1


13. They think there is a naturalistic explanation for everything, even if we don't know what it is;
Yes...

+1


14. They think people who think they've had a paranormal experience are deluding themselves;
I'm pretty much convinced that the following explain all supernatural/paranormal experiences:

Hallucination, Peer Pressure, Faulty Memory, or some combination of the mentioned

+1


15. They rarely have out-of-body experiences;
I've never had one, anyways...

0


16. They believe that once you're dead you're dead and can't talk anymore;
Yeah.

+1


17. They don't engage in automatic writing, Ouija board games, or séances;
I do Ouija board for the hell of it, but I know it's just me moving the damn thing, even if everyone else really believes it's a ghost or something. Life is not a horror movie (thankfully).

+1


18. They don't believe in magical healing powers, but follow the advice of those promoting science-based medicine;
Um... yeah...

+1


19. They trust the results of well-designed controlled studies over beliefs based solely on personal experience;
Um... yeah...

+1


20. They haven't experienced spirits or ghosts (see 13);
Not a ghost, but I saw a unicorn when I was 11. Now, obviously I don't think I saw an actual unicorn (I did then, though), but I've no idea what I actually saw, if anything.

-1


21. They tend to dislike intensely those who lie, defraud others, or promote self-serving nonsense as if it were infallible truth;
Yeah...

+1


22. They don't feel handicapped by their skepticism; on the contrary, they feel empowered by their devotion to reason, logic, critical thinking, empirical evidence, and science;
I actually wrote a song bemoaning the supreme lack of skepticism around the world. I love being a skeptic, and it amazes me how so many hate the idea of skepticism.

+1


23. They don't like lists, unless backed by scientific studies and footnotes, and they're fond of concepts like the fantasy-prone personality and cognitive dissonance;
I think I need more explanation on this one.

0


So my score is... um... 6




I general, I'm not the kind of person you'd expect to be a skeptic. I have to work quite hard at being a skeptic. I used to say that if you told me the word "gullible" was written on the ceiling, I'd look. I'm one of the easiest people alive to punk, and when it comes to humor and timing, I'm pathetically slow (another joke about myself: if you've dissed me, I will come up with a response... in about 6 months). I'm an extremely gullible person. So being a skeptic is actually a chore for me. I have to work at it consistently. Granted, it's something I absolutely love, because it's made my life so much better, but it's work nonetheless.

Nathan, for number 6, are you sure you didn't wake up a little during sleep paralysis?  That is completely normal, that way if you have a bad dream you don't hurt yourself by acting it out.

Huh... I think you may have just given me the explanation I've been looking for. Thank you!

But it happens all the time, and it's really annoying...

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